Puzzle Piece history/A$ Mass post

Let’s talk puzzle pieces. Now in a general sense I love puzzle pieces (please keep reading). They are a whole picture coming together, or a family of people who’ve chosen to connect with each other. However it like so many other symbols it has been perverted, thanks to someone deciding it would be a perfect symbol that lead to the cause of much harm being done to a marginalized group of people.

Today when people see the puzzle piece be it a rainbow of colours or a single blue piece its associated with Autism. For Autistics who understand its history and have worked on their internalized ableism to get to a healthier mind set about being Autistic, it beings feelings of disgust and can be a trigger for bad feelings.

The autism puzzle piece began with NAS (National Autism Society…though I believe they are now National Autistic Society). It started of green and depicting a young boy crying. Like Autism was some kind of disease or something we suffer from. Than it was co-opted by Autism Speaks. They turned it blue (now its mostly blue with a bit of reddish pink/yellow to represent spectrum) and ditched the crying boy. However they still promote the tragedy narrative particularly towards non-speaking/non-verbal Autistics who have higher support needs.

The puzzle piece was used to symbolize we are forever children (so infantilizes Autistics). That we are broken people who need fixing. That we are missing pieces. (Some feel differently has they grew up believing these things or thinking puzzle pieces meant good things about autism). We are not broken. We do not have missing pieces. We may develop atypically, but we are not damaged.

A large variety came up with changed the infinity symbol and using it. Some however felt it to close to the metis flag and so other symbols were created. Most still use the infinity symbol in gold (gold symbol is Au so Autistic), crimson (for autistic women & non-binary people also cause #redinstead), taupe (because the others are too bright & #toneitdowntaupe), or rainbow (for all of Neurodiversity). Some use these for butterflies or brains instead as alternative symbols.

For more on the puzzle piece

Puzzle Piece



The Problem with the Autism Puzzle Piece

For more on Autism Speaks





Published by selfdxautie

I am an Undiagnosed Non-Binary person (she/they). I stumbled across pro neurodivergent autistics by pure chance and now I help spread the information they want Parents and even our fellow autistics to know has there is a lot of misinformation out there about Autism.

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